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    HomeMobileAndroidShould you get NVIDIA's Shield TV or the all-new Apple TV 4K?

    Should you get NVIDIA’s Shield TV or the all-new Apple TV 4K?

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    New look, same great performance

    NVIDIA Shield TV 4K


    NVIDIA Shield TV (2019) Cropped Render

    Good for most

    Apple TV 4K (2021)


    Apple TV 4K 2021 Cropped Render

    NVIDIA has been owning the Android TV streaming box segment for years with the same NVIDIA Shield TV hardware. In 2019, NVIDIA gave us a new look with an upgraded processor that delivers all the features required to keep pace with the newer competition.

    $145 at Amazon

    Pros

    • Tube design is compact and easy to set up
    • Best support for Google apps and services
    • Expandable storage via microSD
    • Support for 4K and HDR
    • AI-upscaling

    Cons

    • Only 8GB of internal storage
    • Doesn’t ship with an HDMI cable

    Apple is known for making top quality tech products that are perfectly suitable for practically anyone. tvOS is easy to navigate and supports the most popular streaming services with output that supports 4K HDR and Dolby Vision.

    From $179 at Amazon

    Pros

    • Best support for Apple apps and services
    • Great for mirroring content from Apple devices
    • Media looks stunning on 4K TVs
    • Optimized to be easy to use
    • New remote is much better than previous models

    Cons

    • No way to expand storage
    • Doesn’t ship with an HDMI cable

    Two of the biggest players in the platform game are Apple and Google and both have excellent options when it comes to streaming content. Apple’s got the updated Apple TV 4K, while Google’s best Android TV box for years has come from NVIDIA. Now that NVIDIA has finally upgraded the NVIDIA Shield TV 4K hardware, the best Android TV box has gotten sleeker without sacrificing performance.

    So which should you get? Let’s break it down.

    NVIDIA Shield TV vs. Apple TV 4K (2021) Need to consider more than just the specs

    NVIDIA Shield TVSource: Android Central

    For the most part, NVIDIA Shield TV 4K and Apple TV 4K (2021) do the same things in the same ways. They suck in digital signals, process them, and spit ’em out to your TV. Each has a remote control and does Wi-Fi, Ethernet, and the rest of the basics.

    Category NVIDIA Shield TV 4K Apple TV 4K
    Processor NVIDIA Tegra X1+ Apple A12 Bionic
    Operating System Android TV tvOS
    Storage 8GB 32 / 64GB
    External storage Yes No
    4K resolution Yes Yes
    HDR10 Yes Yes
    Dolby Atmos Yes Yes
    Dolby Vision Yes Yes
    Voice Control Google Assistant / Apple Siri
    AI Upscaling Yes No
    Price $150 $179 / $199

    With the NVIDIA Shield TV 4K, the only glaring difference in the specs is the internal storage. Its 8GB of storage may seem paltry, but let’s be real — most people are going to be streaming content from apps like Netflix, YouTube, or Disney+. If you do need extra storage for binging your own media library, you can load up a microSD or mount that extra storage as internal storage for your Shield to use to download apps and games. This is something you can’t do with the Apple TV, which offers no ways to expand the 32GB or 64GB of internal storage.

    Apple TV 4K 2021 SettingsSource: Rene Ritchie

    Another noteworthy addition to the NVIDIA Shield TV 4K arsenal is Dolby Vision, which was missing in previous versions. In comparisons between Apple TV 4K and the older Shield TV, Dolby Vision was one of those features that gave Apple an edge over its Android competition, but now not only is it a level playing field but it’s easy to argue that the new NVIDIA Shield TV offering the most impressive visual features.

    I’m referring to the new AI-enhanced upscaling that’s made possible by the new NIVIDA Tegra X1+ chipset. We’ve got an explainer on how it works but essentially NVIDIA used machine learning algorithms to teach the Shield to know what 4K should look like and use that knowledge to fill in more detail on HD video. Rather than upscaling the entire frame, the Shield focuses on facial features, textures, and other details that pop when upscaled.

    NVIDIA Shield TV vs. Apple TV 4K (2021) Which platform does your home already rely on?

    Android TV interfaceSource: Android Central

    Of course, the decision between Apple TV 4K and the NVIDIA Shield TV will come down to the content and services that you and your family are already using. Given the site you’re reading, we’d hazard a guess that you’re bought into that Android life, but that might not be the case for everyone in your home who wants to stream content.

    The good news is that most streaming services are pretty much ubiquitous at this point. Services like PlayStation Vue, Sling, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, DirecTV, Disney+, and more are available on both Android TV and Apple’s tvOS.

    Apple TV+Source: Apple

    But then there’s the fact that Apple content isn’t available on Android TV, and that might be an issue if you or others in your house are keen to check out the Apple TV+ subscription service. While it’s available on most streaming platforms, Android-based streaming boxes are the exception. You could always go down the right of casting from the Apple TV app on your phone to the Shield TV, but you can’t download the app directly to the Shield. That’s the case for any of the best streaming devices using Android TV, save for the Chromecast with Google TV.

    However, if having Android TV is the name of the game, there simply is no better way to get it than with the NVIDIA Shield TV 4K. You’ll get expandable storage via the microSD card slot, an arguably more ergonomic remote, along with having built-in Google Assistant to control your smart home. It’s a no-brainer here.

    Best Android TV streaming box


    NVIDIA Shield TV (2019)

    NVIDIA Shield TV 4K

    NVIDIA lets you stream just about everything

    The NVIDIA Shield TV is a powerful and sleek solution that offers an all-in-one entertainment console for your living room.

    Good for almost everyone


    Apple TV 4K 2021 Cropped Render

    Apple TV 4K (2021)

    Apple’s latest TV box is compatible with all the latest and greatest 4K TV technologies

    Apple TV is a great investment for those who rely on iTunes and other Apple services, especially with Apple TV+.

    We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Learn more.



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    Md Kashif Ali
    Md Kashif Ali
    Hey Guys Its Kashif, Founder of Tech Fire. I spend most of my free time creating content for my YouTube channel and this website. I started my YouTube channel at age 15 and my goal was to teach people what they can do with their gadgets.
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